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Parents still adjusting to kids’ return to class: Heads of Kolkata schools

‘Complaints, demands have gone up’

Jhinuk Mazumdar | Published 11.08.22, 06:38 AM
Representational file image

Representational file image

Parents have become more demanding and their expectations from school and teachers have gone up after two years of online classes, said teachers in several schools.

Many of the concerns that are raised by parents are “petty” and what was earlier resolved in the classroom by the class teacher is now escalated to the authorities.

In two schools, parents demanded that temporary sheds be provided between the school gate and the building so children do not get wet in the rain.

A parent in a mail to a school official expressed his displeasure that the school had edited a dance video of his child and said the student was “traumatised”.

Another parent said the child should not eat at a particular time because of “intermittent fasting”.

Instances of parents blaming the school for exercise books not being corrected or tiffin remaining unfinished have become common, said teachers.

“In the last two years, students attended school from home and parents now feel everything has to be customised according to the child’s needs. The expectations have become far too much,” said Seema Sapru, principal of The Heritage School.

Rather than letting them learn to adapt and adjust, for many parents the child’s comfort is now of paramount importance.

Children have got used to a sheltered and comfortable life and parents are only making the transition to in-person school more difficult for them, a principal said.

Three school heads said they had received emails from parents that showed how much they were trying to control the child’s life in school.

“Children were at home for two-and-a-half years. Now there is the rigour of long hours in school, which the child has to be allowed to adjust to. But instead of that, parents are making demands and expecting instant gratification,” said Anjana Saha, principal, Mahadevi Birla World Academy.

A fall or a fight that was natural among students is now being escalated because parents are intervening.

Parents are sending emails with photographic evidence of fights between students directly to school heads now instead of to the class teacher for redressal, teachers said.

Some schools said they were “ignoring the mails at times” but on some occasions, they are having to meet parents to explain the situation to them.

“Many parents were with children during online class and have forgotten how life in school was. In the last two years, they panicked about Covid and became overprotective,” said Dalbir Kaur Chadda, principal, South Point School.

The two years of online lessons gave parents access to classrooms, which has been taken away from them with the resumption of in-person classes.

While parents are happy that children are going to school, they also realise their privileged access has been taken away, a teacher said.

“In some cases, parents are taking more time to adjust to their children returning to school than the students because they cannot see what is happening on campus,” said Jessica Gomes Surana, principal of Loreto Convent Entally.

Last updated on 11.08.22, 06:38 AM
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